Elephant Encounter

We pulled into the parking area for one of the watering holes at Etosha, and noticed immediately that there were several large groups of elephants enjoying the place. One group was in the mud bathing, another was off to our right, and a third group was right on the gravel road, blocking our entry (and others’ exit). We turned off the car, all windows down, and started taking pictures. Suddenly, the group on the road started heading in our direction, and we realized they were coming right toward us. About 5 seconds went by where we had time to consider all we’d been told about how to behave around elephants – but then we realized if we backed up now – or even turned on the car to close the windows – it might be seen as a provocation. So we held our breath and waited for them to pass by. Heart rates jumped a little when one of the last elephants, the tiniest of the group, started to express a little too much interest in our open car window, and we thought Mom might get upset. But fortunately it thought better of it and continued on its way.

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